Amid the many reasons why new year resolutions fail, one remains overlooked: hormone imbalance. For any of 2019's most popular goals—lose weight, make new friends, start a new hobby—hormone imbalance can thwart them all by imposing symptoms such as:
- Depression and anxiety.
- Lack of focus.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Weight gain.
- Joint and muscle pain.
Don Colbert, M. D., author of Dr. Colbert's Hormone Health Zone, alerts you to everyday habits that disrupt your hormones.
Eating an Unhealthy Diet
"The standard American diet is usually low in certain key nutrients that support a healthy thyroid," Dr. Colbert says.
A balanced diet helps you maintain a healthy thyroid, which impacts how you conserve energy among other critical functions.
To shape up your diet, Dr. Colbert advises you to:
- Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
- Drink 16 ounces of water four times a day.
- Incorporate one to two servings of starch that come from whole foods.
- Cut out processed sugar.
Having an Unhealthy Lifestyle
"The answer is what you would expect: make better choices, maintain your exercise program, eat healthier, relax more and so on," says Dr. Colbert.
He stresses how exercise in particular plays a huge role in ensuring your overall well-being, especially in keeping depression at bay. He draws on a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry which found that even just one hour of exercise per week can prevent depression.
This means that simply incorporating a walk or a bike ride into your weekly routine naturally boosts your hormone levels and, as a result, boosts your mood.
"When your lifestyle and choices are healthy, they are also hormone-friendly, and that dramatically decreases the chances of having any hormone-deficiency symptoms," Dr. Colbert says.
Exposing Yourself to Chemicals
You don't have to work in a factory to be exposed to harmful chemicals.
Dr. Colbert says, "You may be surprised to discover just how many things you touch that negatively affect your hormone levels. That is because the chemicals get into your body through your skin, accumulate, and eventually may cause long-term damage."
Phthalates, more commonly called "fragrance," can be found in food packaging, shower curtains, cosmetics, soft plastic flooring, personal care products, toys and household cleaners.
As a disruptor, phthalates mess up your ability to use the testosterone in your body—whether you're male or female—causing decreased muscle mass, weight gain, depression, low libido and memory problems.
Here are some ways Dr. Colbert says can reduce your exposure to phthalates:
- Install glass shower doors instead of shower curtains.
- Use natural brands of toothpaste, shampoos and cosmetics.
- Get rid of scented candles, air fresheners, dryer sheets and synthetic fragrances.
- Use glass instead of plastic to store food.
- Use natural cleaning products.
- Filter the tap water in your home.
Dr. Colbert includes in his book many other ways to naturally boost your hormones. However, in addition to changing daily habits, he also advocates for doing hormone replacement therapy, an often-misunderstood form of treatment that can prevent disease, restore health and improve quality of life.
Hormone therapy is mistakenly thought to cause cancer, heart attacks and blood clots. Dr. Colbert has made it his mission to debunk all myths and open readers' eyes to the transformative power of optimizing your hormones. He breaks down the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones so that any reader can understand how their hormones work and what hormone therapy would entail.
"When you optimize your hormone levels, you enable all your systems to function optimally," Dr. Colbert says. "And what is more, optimizing your hormones is the best way to fight aging. We all can rejoice with that!"
This article is based on Dr. Colbert's Hormone Health Zone (Siloam 2019) by Don Colbert, M.D. Colbert has been a board-certified family practice doctor for more than twenty-five years in Orlando, Florida, and most recently in Dallas, Texas. He is also board-certified in anti-aging medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has received extensive training in nutritional and preventative medicine. He is the author of three New York Times' best-selling books, including The Seven Pillars of Health and Dr. Colbert's "I Can Do This" Diet, along with best sellers Toxic Relief, the Bible Cure series, Living in Divine Health and Stress Less. He has sold more than 10 million books and treated more than 50,000 patients in his years of practicing medicine.
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